Concern continues to pour in over proposed Calgary budget
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Concern continues to pour in over proposed Calgary budget

(Tom Ross - 660NEWS)
Summary

Business owners are still concerned over what the proposed Calgary budget means to them

Many concerned residents have even taken to social media wanting Mayor Nenshi to step down

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — Some Calgary small business owners are still left in shock after hearing about the tax increases coming with the four-year budget plan released by city council Tuesday.

The frustration has even reached social media with many users calling for Mayor Naheed Nenshi to step down because of the budget.

Stephen Deere is the owner of Modern Steak in Kensington who didn’t go so far as to say the mayor should resign but believes a change in council is necessary.

“We need some form of new blood. I think Nenshi is very much a sound bite, social media person, he puts out his two things, and people either love him or hate him for it. I think we need to go deeper beyond the soundbite and actually look at making a big picture, long-term decisions that are going to drive prosperity for all people in Calgary instead of just going back to taxation.”

Deere said there is too much uncertainty regarding the tax increases and that it’s getting more difficult to operate his business as a result of the taxes, the recent recession on the price of oil.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business also chimed in on the budget saying the City’s spending is a big issue that needs to be addressed instead of continuous taxation.

“I think what this requires is some remedial, going through the budget and finding those areas of saving because in the past we’ve suggested things that could be looked at and council doesn’t even consider those little things or the big things,” said Alberta Director Amber Ruddy who pointed out that a recent survey found that about 53 per cent of businesses are considering leaving Calgary as a result of the high level of property taxes.

The move to change spending habits in council is being echoed by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation with Alberta director Franco Terrazzano suggesting that the city eliminate their golden benefits.

“That means the retirement bonuses that city employees. There’s over 200 City of Calgary employees that are set to receive three pensions from the City. Calgary is the only major city that gives two pensions to its mayor. Between 2007 and 2016 Calgary city council pensions cost taxpayers more than Ottawa, Edmonton and Vancouver combined.”

Terrazzano doesn’t believe that a sudden change needs to happen as that outcome is ultimately up to voters in an election.